Savita Pillay is an educationist turned writer from Pune, India. She is an avid reader, who loves to travel and experiment with food.
An Essential Guide When Traveling to Rome With Kids
Traveling with your little ones can be fun and exhausting at the same time. Rome's unique sights and attractions cater to all age groups, especially kids. The city offers a perfect blend of culture, fun, and entertainment to engage your kids.
The first thing to consider is whether your little ones need a visa to visit and travel with you in Italy. Here's a complete guide and what you should keep in mind when traveling to Rome with kids.
Best Time to Visit
Before applying for a visiting visa, plan the best time to visit Rome with your kids.
The best times to visit Rome with kids are the early autumn (September and early October), late spring (May and June), and Christmas. The autumn and spring seasons offer the perfect weather and ambiance for sightseeing, exploring the parks and playgrounds, and visiting stores to try out gelato and pizzas.
Christmas is also good since entire streets are dotted with bright lights, Christmas trees, and holiday markets for fun indulgences. Teenagers will love the shopping experiences available during this season.
August is a very bad time to plan a visit to Rome with the kids. The locals leave the place as the weather is very hot and humid and conducive to mosquito breeding.
How long should your holiday be?
Three to five days are recommended to explore the unique offering of Rome for kids. So many gorgeous attractions are power packed with overwhelming experiences for your little ones. In addition, visiting for less than three days would not give you time to appreciate the culture and beauty of this place.
Reasons to Visit Rome With Your Kids
- Rome is the capital and largest city in Italy. It's an essential stop while exploring other gorgeous Italian destinations.
- Most of the year, the weather is generally comfortable for a family outing.
- This beautiful city doesn't compromise visitors' tastes and requirements depending on age.
- Great ancient sites are critical elements of the Italian cultural heritage. These sites offer a perfect blend of fun and education for all age groups. Many can be seen walking at your own pace.
- There are more than enough options for gelato and pizza, the perfect bites for all ages.
- Several options for accommodation cater to the requirements of young parents.
Challenges to Anticipate
Traffic and mobility are two key challenges you will likely face in Rome.
- The city of Rome is not very stroller friendly as the roads are narrow, and you will find parked cars all across the street (including on pavement primarily used for pedestrians). In addition, the cobbles and potholes make the stroller ride very bumpy overall.
- Being a tourist hotspot for most of the year, finding the perfect accommodation and kid-friendly attractions can sometimes be a hassle. So avoid last-minute disappointments by booking in advance.
- The public transport service and traffic are very erratic in nature. Hence, people often avoid the central region and prefer offbeat destinations.
Culinary Delights With Little Ones
You will not find an exclusive kid's menu in many restaurants. Generally, portions are smaller in quantity to fit the little one's stomach. However, traditional food delicacies like pasta alla gricia or saltimbocca Alla Romana are two specialties that are kid friendly. In addition, some family cafes do feature exclusive children's play areas and special kid menus.
Best Places to Visit With Kids
You'll be surprised by the plethora of attractions available when planning your itinerary. Of course, many of Rome's major landmarks are absolute must-sees. You can also indulge in kid-friendly activities to keep your little ones engaged.
Castel Sant’Angelo: This castle will ignite your kids' fantasy world. Stroll around lazily, admiring the Tiber River, sweeping views, and the city. Don't miss the antique cannons and balls.
Children Museum: Soft areas, imaginative play areas, and interactive workshops form this kid-friendly destination's core. If your kid is bored from sightseeing, this is the perfect place to lighten their mood.
Children workshops and mentoring classes: Rome organizes several workshops and classes for the little ones, including making a mosaic of a pizza.
Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and Roman Forum: These are fascinating and educational for people of all ages. Your kids can pretend they are Roman citizens from thousands of years ago as they stand amid the ruins.
Exploring the city's rich heritage and the might of the Roman Empire is fascinating. You can opt for a guided tour or walk at your own pace. Advance booking is a must to avoid the long queues for entry that may ruin your kid's demeanor.
Piazza Navona: Culinary delights (pizzas) are one of Rome's culinary specials. In addition, there is a toy shop to catch the fascination of your kid for sure.
The Fontana di Trevi or the Trevi Fountain: This iconic monument is known for fulfilling desires by throwing a coin in the fountain. The money donated here is used for charity to feed the homeless. You can walk up and gaze at the statues as long as you please.
The 3D models of Rome: Light technology is used to recreate 3D models that offer educational insights about the technology, its impacts, and a brief history of Rome.
The Rome Pantheon: Fun and education for kids. The best-preserved building in Italian history has something special about its rich history. Access to this place is free.
Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, and Vatican Gardens: Vatican City is bordered by Rome on all sides. Children love exploring here as it is a new country altogether. The mighty St. Peter's Basilica sculpture is bound to catch eyeballs. Lastly, there are several monuments and interactive displays that will help them imagine life as it was when the structures were built.
Advance booking is always recommended as the lines can get really long. Touring the inside of the buildings may be best for teenagers and young adults.
Villa Borghese: This lush green space in the city center will be a refreshing experience for the kids. You can rent bikes, go-carts, and rowing boats along with several cafes and merry-go rides that will impress your little one. The Rome Zoo housed here can be a center of attraction for only the very small ones.
Using Public Transport While Traveling With Kids
Rome's buses are not very stroller friendly. I'd opt for a carrier, so you don't have problems boarding and getting down. They also get crowded frequently. Be prepared for irregular bus schedules that don't meet your schedule.
The metros are also not stroller friendly. However, they are useful if you must travel long distances.
Taxi Rules While Traveling With Kids in Rome
Car seats are not mandatory in taxis. However, carry your child's seat while traveling in taxis. Taxis can be easily accessible by flagging your hand on the street, and this is the best option if your child is still quite young.
© 2022 Savita Pillay